Liam Smith refuses to consider he’ll see something apart from the very best obtainable model of Chris Eubank Jr.
Discuss of the second-generation boxer coming into their January 21 middleweight conflict at simply 50 p.c has irked Liverpool’s Smith, a former WBO junior middleweight titlist and a part of a proud combating household who’s grown irritated by the declare.
“No person believes he’s going to be 50 p.c,” Smith advised iD Boxing. “If a Canelo [Alvarez] or somebody elite mentioned he solely must be 50 p.c, you assume ‘Okay, the person’s a category act.
“Chris is bang common however an excellent, match athlete,” “If you’ll want to be 50 p.c… if he must be 50 p.c to beat me, I could as nicely not present up.”
Smith (32-3-1, 19KOs) fights for the second time beneath the Boxxer banner since signing with the UK-based promoter final summer time. The 34-year-old former titlist joined the corporate with the intention of touchdown a combat with Eubank (32-2, 23KOs), who as a substitute accepted a grudge match with Conor Benn final October 8. Their combat was canceled when the British Boxing Board of Management refused to sanction the occasion after it was publicly revealed that Benn examined constructive for a banned substance.
The event led Eubank to revisit plans with Smith. An settlement was reached, with their bout to headline a January 21 Sky Sports activities Field Workplace telecast from AO Area in Manchester, England.
Smith has gained six of his final seven begins since a July 2017 twelve-round defeat to then-unbeaten WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia. Smith beforehand held that very same title, which he misplaced to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez by way of ninth-round stoppage in September 2016.
The one different profession defeat for ‘Beefy’ Smith got here beneath doubtful circumstances. He dropped a extremely questionable choice to unbeaten Magomed Kurbanov in Might 2021 on the street in Ekaterinburg, with most contemplating him unfortunate to not get the choice of their title eliminator.
Smith has since gained three in a row, all inside the gap. A press release was made in an eighth-round stoppage of Anthony Fowler of their October 2021 all-Liverpool conflict. Six months later, Smith battered Jessie Vargas into submission at 0:41 of the tenth spherical final April 30 in New York Metropolis, adopted by a fourth-round knockout of Hassan Mwakinyo final September 3 in his Liverpool hometown.
If nothing else, Smith—one among two former titlists in his household, together with youthful brother Callum—has carved out a profession that warrants the utmost respect of anybody in his path. Eubank Jr, alleged in any other case, claiming that he’s solely going half-pace and sparring eight rounds at a time since he believes their combat gained’t final any longer than that.
“Simply bollocks, clearly. Bollocks,” mentioned a dismissive Smith. “I don’t even need to reply that as a result of it’s simply foolish. Whoever believes that, don’t ask me a query about it. In the event you consider him, don’t even interview me about it.”
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox